In Egypt, the White House appears to have determined that a political vacuum san Mubarak is more dangerous than an in-place Mubarak and, in any event, there is no reasonable likelihood of an election being organized before September (when it was already scheduled) anyway.
Thus, in one of those curious turns of events which bedevil even the most ardent ideologues, Barak Obama finds himself depending upon the solidarity of the Egyptian military to hold things together until an election is held, and to guarantee that whatever the new government looks like next Fall, it does not include the clubbing men for not having beards nor the stoning women who want to go shopping without being chaperoned.
Barack Obama has dithered between saying it's up to the Egyptians to determine their future and, as Reuters reported last night the government must:
"stop harassing protesters and immediately repeal an emergency law allowing detention without charge."
What's this? The Mighty United States telling sovereign countries what they should or should not do? This is the "Obama Re-Set?" This is America withdrawing back within its borders and letting the rest of the world function as it wishes?
This is Obama learning that America holds the moral compass for the world and however much he might choose to hide that compass in his pocket, without it the people of the world will suffer.
Of course Obama sent Vice President Joe Biden out to wag his finger in the face of the Egyptian government so that if it blows up in the face of the Administration, Obama can blame his Veep. Man up, Barack.
Obama is overlooking the cliff of Egypt becoming a massive fundamentalist Islamic nation.
Obama can't blame this on Bush. It's all his.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A thumbnail bio of Atatürk, a map of the Ottoman Empire, the U.K. Guardian piece on the Turkish military's vow to preserve secularism, and the Reuters piece on Joe Biden doing what he was told to do.
Also a Mullfoto of a major fire in the District the other morning and a Catchy Caption of the Day.